Berfrois

August 2020

Adam Staley Groves: Pondering My 2020 Vote

Adam Staley Groves: Pondering My 2020 Vote

I actively supported Obama in 2008. I voted for him and I still feel it was the right thing to do. But I did not vote for Obama in 2012, or for Clinton in 2016. Why did I not vote?

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Asked for French Toast

Asked for French Toast

My father, Seymour Robbins, “Sim,” grew up in his parents’ Jewish deli in Stamford, Connecticut. They cooked all their own meats; corned beef, pastrami, and tongue, and all the side dishes; kugels, knishes, and salads...

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Soaring Above the Skylark

Soaring Above the Skylark

At the summit stood a stone Shinto gate framed by chestnut trees. I climbed the worn stone steps to find an overgrown shrine filled with moss-coated sculptures—images of Buddhist deities and elderly sages in flowing robes...

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Serious Kailyarding

Serious Kailyarding

During its wildly popular late-nineteenth-century pomp, Kailyard literature (so-named for a cabbage patch) was characterized by sentimental depictions of rural Scottish folk in all their close-knit charm...

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The beds turned dark brown, springy; they lifted from the earth…

The beds turned dark brown, springy; they lifted from the earth…

My shovel hit the earth with a ka-chunk. My friend and I were digging trenches to lay down a line of asparagus. We didn’t get far...

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When was salt and snow first used to produce ice cream?

When was salt and snow first used to produce ice cream?

The earliest form of ice cream seems to have been produced a little before Della Porta started freezing wine...

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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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Jeremy Fernando: Not

A response — Bartleby’s response — foregrounding the fact that it is the “I” that “prefers not to”: not that ‘I cannot’ nor ‘I...

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Owen Vince on HARK

As a poet, you are your grandmother; you are browsing the obituaries with a red pen and an address book in your hand. The...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

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Collective Destruction by Keith Doubt

What, then, is sociocide? Sociocide resonates with the term demodernization formulated by A. V. Tishkov to account for the consequences of the war in...

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Heather Lang on Fiona Sampson and Sarah Morgan

Poet Fiona Sampson is a former career violinist, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, overt references to music appear in her work.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom....

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Joe Linker
Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping....

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Luc Moullet

To begin at the end: After nearly two hours exploring facets of exploitation in the globalized food system, Luc Moullet closes Genèse d’un repas/Origins...

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Adam Staley Groves: Iowa Nasty

Now it seems the state’s radical conservatives are degrading the historic, populist-provincial mentality of Iowa; they are revising the state’s legacy within the broader...

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Animal Spirits at the Nueva Burdalesa Bakery by Jessica Sequeira

A few years ago all I had was a certain ambition and an understanding, more or less, of how things work in this world....

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Sebastian Normandin
Meaning and Pseudoscience by Sebastian Normandin

The persistence and proliferation of pseudoscientific thinking in contemporary culture demands explanation. Clearly there are some pragmatic reasons for its expanded existence, and people...

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost....

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind...

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